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My children are using Saxon. They are doing fine, but math takes so much time (over an hour or so a day). And then, if they miss more than five problems, they must redo the lesson the following day. This happens often. They read and do the lesson independently, then if they miss anything, we go over it together if needed. It is functional, but there is no enjoyment there, and it really does take way too much time.

 

Is there a math program for average kids, that takes less time per day? It's also important to me that the series go into high school because they are in 5th and 6th and I don't want to have to look for a new program in a few years!

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My children are using Saxon. They are doing fine, but math takes so much time (over an hour or so a day). And then, if they miss more than five problems, they must redo the lesson the following day. This happens often. They read and do the lesson independently, then if they miss anything, we go over it together if needed. It is functional, but there is no enjoyment there, and it really does take way too much time.

 

Is there a math program for average kids, that takes less time per day? It's also important to me that the series go into high school because they are in 5th and 6th and I don't want to have to look for a new program in a few years!

 

I guess I don't understand why they need to read and do the lesson independently and why if they miss five problems they need to redo the entire previous lesson (which probably doesn't have anything to do with the problems they missed anyway).

 

You can *significantly* reduce the amount of time *any* program takes by presenting the lessons yourself and allowing your students to do as much as possible orally.  I suspect that if you make these changes and stick with Saxon, it will take far less time and your children will probably enjoy it more.

 

That said, Saxon does tend to suck the joy out of learning math for a lot of kids.  If you really want to switch to something else, I'd give them the Singapore placement test and start them where they place.  And then I'd teach the lessons and do as much as possible orally.  Once they finish Singapore 5B, they should be able to move on to a solid prealgebra program (I recommend Derek Owens).

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We honestly just expect math to take 1-2 hours, but we do multiple programs at each day. I'd address the Saxon-specific issues with doing the instructions orally and then letting the kids have another crack at the problems they missed without redoing the whole thing. Oftentimes mistakes around here are carelessness or basic math errors (like 8+2=16, because they didn't read the sign carefully) and they can correct them fairly quickly without needing to redo the entire concept.

 

At that age, between lesson and practice problems/homework, an hour is just about right for most programs. But maybe switching it up entirely and doing something like Strayer-Upton for awhile could be really helpful in boosting their mental math and math sense AND not taking as long.

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I guess I don't understand why they need to read and do the lesson independently and why if they miss five problems they need to redo the entire previous lesson (which probably doesn't have anything to do with the problems they missed anyway).

 

You can *significantly* reduce the amount of time *any* program takes by presenting the lessons yourself and allowing your students to do as much as possible orally. I suspect that if you make these changes and stick with Saxon, it will take far less time and your children will probably enjoy it more.

 

That said, Saxon does tend to suck the joy out of learning math for a lot of kids. If you really want to switch to something else, I'd give them the Singapore placement test and start them where they place. And then I'd teach the lessons and do as much as possible orally. Once they finish Singapore 5B, they should be able to move on to a solid prealgebra program (I recommend Derek Owens).

I prefer them to do the lessons independently because I find it builds confidence when they realize that they can read and understand the lesson without me explaining every little detail and holding their hand. In the past I have sat with them the entire time, and it has not been good for them. They may have missed fewer questions, but they were afraid to work on their own at all because they attributed their success to my sitting there with them. Also, with two in kindergarten now, and the olders needing me for other subjects, and a baby, I don't have time to do as much a possible orally with them. Even if I did have time, I wouldn't do that though, just because experience tells me it is better for these two kids to work as independently as possible.

 

As far as missing five and repeating lessons, I don't find any pattern in their mistakes; either it is careless mistakes they are making or it is a problem with the lesson content; if it's the latter, then I reteach the lesson and they repeat the problems the following day.

 

I guess a better question to ask would've been : which math program presents the needed concepts with fewer practice problems?

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Again though, repetition is helpful and needed for many students to cement concepts. We have had programs with less problems in a set but they still take as long because there is more oral work and review. In terms of a get 'er done quick math I'd suggest an old school math text like I referenced above or something like Teaching Textbooks. Still though, math and language arts just take time. They do. It stinks when you have other students who need more work - trust me I know! - but those two subjects should take up 80% of a short school day just because they are work intensive.

 

Your kids may find they go faster or slower on certain programs, but that's really hard for someone on the outside to predict. My kids fly through Saxon and their Beast Academy takes forever, even though I might only assign five or ten problems, because the teaching is slower and the problems are complex and challenging. They're getting the same level do rigor through their Saxon, achieved an entirely different way, but it's smaller bites and more of them rather than a few big mouthfuls that take longer to chew, as it were.

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Yes, if your kids must do math without a teacher, I would switch to Christian light education or Teaching Textbooks, since those are both designed to be used independently.

 

Personally, I don't think math should be self-taught. But I have all sorts of opinions about math education.

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If your kids are missing so many problems and taking so long, they may be in a level they aren't ready for.  My dd takes 30 minutes or less for math and we have always used Saxon - she is currently in 7/6 and finished the entire lesson (Saxon Teacher explaining the lesson and the problems) in 23 minutes.  She likes to time herself in math - it makes her work faster.  I would be thinking something was wrong if it took my child an hour to do Saxon math at that age and if they are missing so many problems.  On average, she misses 1-2.  Just some food for thought!  You could try going back a level or if you have already done that level - have them do the supplemental math problems in the back of the book for the previous level. 

 

Also, another thing to consider is - do they know their facts?  My dd drilled math facts every single day in the first 4 books.  If a child can't recall the math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) very fast - than they will take forever to do math problems in the middle grades!  If this is the case with your children, have them do the drill cards everyday till they can do them fast and know them - otherwise you will just be a curriculum hopper searching for the "right" math program when all along the child just hasn't mastered the basics and/or isn't on the right level.  You can also have them do math games that are online for free - my dd did those almost daily - fun and learning at the same time!  Her favorite was http://www.arcademics.com/

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My average math students would not have been successful using Saxon independently. They needed actual interaction with new concepts before they could be set loose on a lesson. It sounds like that's the same case in your house if that many lessons are being repeated. (Is that five problems wrong = repeat the lesson really a Saxon thing? My math struggler never would have survived!) I do have a couple that simply speak math's language and could have accomplished that.

 

Having math take really long and having to repeat so many lessons is probably lowering confidence more than it's helping it. Before switching everyone to a whole new line I'd try being more involved in the new concepts and making sure they really understand it before setting them loose to do the rest of the lesson. I know it can be challenging with a houseful of kids, but it takes less time to learn it well the first round than to unlearn the misunderstandings and reteach.

 

Fwiw an hour spent on math at those ages was typical for 3 of my 4 kids at that level of math.

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I saw this advice on this board a while ago and it helped us (Saxon 5/4 with a younger student with not much attention to detail):

Make a chart, & record the type of errors they are making, i.e., transcription errors, read the problem wrong, math "fact" error, didn't put the label, etc.

 

When my daughter saw certain errors were a big problem for her (day after day she had transcription errors and label errors), it caused her to focus on those more than me harping on them.

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CLE - they don't HAVE to do the WHOLE lesson EVERY DAY.  Cross out what you know they already know.  Have them do just odd or even numbers, or just the sections you know they need work on.  Set a timer for 30 minutes and when it rings, they're done with math for the day, and just pick up where they left off the following day.  Or, have them do math at two separate times during the day, such as two 20 minute increments.

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My children are using Saxon. They are doing fine, but math takes so much time (over an hour or so a day). And then, if they miss more than five problems, they must redo the lesson the following day. This happens often. They read and do the lesson independently, then if they miss anything, we go over it together if needed. It is functional, but there is no enjoyment there, and it really does take way too much time.

 

Is there a math program for average kids, that takes less time per day? It's also important to me that the series go into high school because they are in 5th and 6th and I don't want to have to look for a new program in a few years!

 

Give them a time limit, say half an hour or 45 minutes--whatever you think is reasonable. When they reach that time, they put the book away, and start there the next day. Yes, it might take more than one day to do a lesson, but it is not unusual for children to miraculously be able to finish a lesson in a shorter amount of time when they are given a time limit. No one knows why, but it is often true.

 

And honestly, I think making them redo a lesson if they miss more than five is too much. How are they doing on the tests? That is the most important thing.

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Have you tried having them do just the even or odd problems, or working for 45 minutes and just getting as many done as they can in that time? 

 

 

You always do every problem in every Saxon lesson, because every problem in every Saxon lesson has a purpose. :-)

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Much like CLE. You can't just skip every other problem in spiral programs like this. When you're only doing a few problems at a time on a concept, if you keep skipping questions then it will take far longer to learn the concept. Likewise, if there's only 4-5 problems per concept, skipping the 4-5 for the concept you know, doesn't save much time. It's the downfall of spiral programs. With mastery, it's far easier to just skip problems with a concept is solidly learned.

 

Saxon isn't spiral. :-)

 

Janet in WA:

"Saxon did go to a lot of trouble developing the design of those problem sets. Unlike with most textbooks that just offer lots of practice with the same kind of problem where omitting some of them doesn't have much impact, omitting Saxon problems can mean omitting certain kinds of problems entirely from a day's practice. Also, sometimes several problems in a set are related, and doing each of them helps the child understand the nature of the mathematical relationship (i.e. fractions, decimals and percents)."

 

Another from Janet:

"One of the ingenious things about Saxon's problem sets that even my sons noticed (when they didn't skip every other problem) was that often consecutive problems are related in a way that furthers the student's understanding of the way different math concepts relate (which is one of the underappreciated aspects of Saxon's incremental design, in my opinion). For example, a series of problems may all have the exact same answer, just arrived at by different but related processes. Or perhaps there will be 3 consecutive problems that amount to the same thing -- one might be a fraction problem, the next a decimal problem, and finally a percent problem -- all representing the same mathematical relationship (say 3/100, .03 and 3%). If you skip problems, your child misses this learning device"

 

And from our own Jann in TX:

You will get many different answers to this question. There are many here on the boards who only give the odds or evens out...the PROBLEM with this is that Saxon DOES NOT design their program to be used in this manner (many other texts are designed this way). When you skip problems with Saxon you are setting yourself up for trouble later on...the problem sets do not have evenly spaced concepts AND some concepts may look the same to the untrained parent--BUT each problem is actually teaching/testing in a different area. By routinely skipping problems you are missing out on critical review. In most of the series--7/6 and above--the practice problems often DIFFER from the original concept (the one noted by the little number). As the students' knowledge and experience increases so does their ability to COMBINE concepts. The review problems are often more difficult/complex than the original practice problems.

 

I’m a certified Math teacher--turned homeschool Mother. I have taught/tutored Saxon for over 7 years (1st grade -Advanced Math). The vast majority of the students seeking tutoring in Pre-Algebra and above are those who routinely skipped problems--working only half of the problem set.

 

Skipping problems in the texts below 7/6 MAY work out well for some students as the concepts taught are very basic. From 7/6 on it is very important to work EVERY problem. If the problem set takes too much time to do each day most likely the reason is that the student needs MORE practice!!!

 

I have a dd with some learning differences and she has had success working 15-20 problems a day--continuing on the next day without skipping any problems. She completes a little over 3 problem sets a week.

 

Some people are fine with their students making a B in math. It is sad that those students could be making A’s if only they had used the text the way it was designed!

 

It is probably obvious that I am passionate about this issue. When you choose to use a program such as Saxon that is designed with a complex spiral review it is important to use the program correctly--taking shortcuts will only shortchange your child. There may be other math programs where working only 10-15 problems a day is sufficient--but Saxon is definitely NOT one of them.

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You always do every problem in every Saxon lesson, because every problem in every Saxon lesson has a purpose. :-)

 

I only used Algebra 1 and 2 and some of advanced math and we did maybe 10 problems per chapter.  I felt comfortable doing that with my kid and ultimately his skills were solid by the end.  Of course I sat with him every day so I knew what he knew or didn't know.  Harder to do that if you just leave the kids to their own devices. 

 

I bought one level of Saxon below that and I didn't use it with my second kid.  He would have revolted.  There is WAY WAY WAY too much work there.  It's ridiculous. 

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Math U See makes for much shorter lessons. We were doing Teaching Textbooks, which was going fine overall, but even for my son who has a relatively easy time *learning* Math, was spending an hour or more doing the problems because there were several practice problems, plus 20-22 problems per lesson, plus the lecture took a few minutes. I didn't switch to MUS this year because of the time issue, BUT I'm amazed at how much faster math gets done with Math U See. On the first day of school this year my 8th grader sat down to do his math and couldn't understand the concept of one "lesson" taking a week to complete, and one day's worth of work being done in... 20 minutes?... so he proceeded to do three days' worth of math in one day until I stopped him and told him, "Hunny, you were done with math for today after you did the first page!"  LOL  :lol:

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I have used Saxon for 4 children. Just finished the Advanced Math book with the 4th. Do every problem. The way I do it is make them redo a lesson if I find they are being sloppy and using me to correct things like copying a problem wrong. Don't redo the lesson if they do not understand.

 

I think it is important to teach a lesson. In the end, it makes it go faster.

 

And I have also put a timer on my children at times. Even if they never finished a lesson in the time I set before the timer, they always did it under the set time with the timer. I never understood why.

 

Make certain they know their math facts well. This greatly reduces the time for the lesson and the accuracy.

 

Saxon does work. Math always takes time to learn. And the three I have that have learned math this way -- two are engineers who did very well in college. The third is in nursing school. (Youngest still in high school).

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Yes it is.   :) Says so right on the website: "Saxon Math has consistently been one of homeschoolers' top choices when it comes to math curriculum. Their incremental spiral-approach teaches students information in small amounts, and continually repeats concepts to keep newly acquired skills fresh and active."

 

It's why it's not a good idea to skip the problems.

 

It is *incremental* spiral. That word "incremental" is important. It is not like other materials that are spiral.

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We don't skip Saxon math problems here, but when the lessons seem to be harder and taking longer, we switch to doing the lesson over two days -- odds one day, and evens the next. I think an approach like that is suggested by Art Reed in his Saxon guide and is even recommended for Advanced Math.

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My son tends to be VERY careless unless there is a good reason not to be. (i.e. more work, we've done the same as you - repeating lessons with too many mistakes.) This year has actually been the first year that we aren't having a time issue with math. It could be his age (6th grade) but I'm also wondering if it is the math. We switched math programs this year to a mastery program. Now, I personally prefer spiral and that is what we have done for years. But, BJU math is mastery. It is interesting because the first few lessons of each chapter are really, really easy and he flies through them, no problem. (Unless we are having a bad day, which is another issue!) And then, towards the end of the chapter, the lessons start to get a little tougher and we may spend two days on a lesson. But, I can *see* where it gets more difficult for him and consciously be aware of that, which gets me in the frame of mind that we need to slow down.  It also helps me to see the difference between his careless mistakes in the chapter's early lessons and concept mistakes in the latter lessons, whereas with spiral, he was just missing a bunch, which frustrated me and I wasn't taking the time to distinguish between careless and concept mistakes. I think having a few lessons that are easy and then having a hard one thrown in here and there has boosted his confidence, as well. That's been our experience.

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We do Saxon 5/4. Honestly, I can't see handing DS the book and say do it and turn it in. I do a shortened warm up, usually orally or this is when we do a reteach if he needs it. 

Then I present the lesson using a whiteboard easel (cue easel from when he finger painted). After the concept is introduced, we work together doing the lesson questions on the whiteboard. 

I turn DS loose on the Mixed Review questions, usually 26. Sometimes I need to help him (dysgraphia).

Then we have a 5 question quiz, he must get 4 out of 5. If he scores lower I review what questions to determine if it is current lesson material, previous lesson material or basic facts like add, sub, mult, divide. This determines if we go on or not.

Usually yes, but I may use the reteach sheet if it is a concept, or a quick review with flash cards if it is a basic fact issue.

Yep, math takes an hour or more per a day. It sucks. I have recently moved to doing math M-TH and taking Friday off. This seems to have worked very well around here the last 2 weeks and DS is very happy with the arrangement. I did alert him on 4day weeks, math will be every day.

I really like Saxon for a variety of reasons, the consistent spiral that reviews. Math needs to be practiced, very few can get it and run. The 1 concept per lesson. Builds math confidence to be able to complete the review exercises competently because of the spiral. The 120 lessons per year that let me lengthen the lesson over multiple days or eliminate Fridays. The lack of multiple guess question formatting which I firmly believe only teaches the student to guess not how to do the math for the long run.

 

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It is *incremental* spiral. That word "incremental" is important. It is not like other materials that are spiral.

 

Real talk Ellie, what is your vendetta against spiral as a concept?

 

It's spiral but not really spiral even though the authors say via the publisher that it's spiral?

 

I ask because I think you might have a misguided impression of other programs that are spiral. They are all "incremental."  What is the alternative to an "incremental spiral?" ......? Non-accumulative? Circular?

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We have finally decided that some lessons (for some kids, most lessons) of Saxon math are just going to take us more than one day to complete.  So, they have instructions on their assignment sheet that say . . "work on math for at least one hour".  Sometimes that ends up being less, sometimes a bit more but if they don't finish the lesson in a day, we just pick up where they left off the next day.

 

I don't make them repeat a whole lesson if they miss more than a certain number.  Some of my kids work on their own to correct their mistakes, one in particular goes through the mistakes with me and then we go to the next lesson.  Because of the way that Saxon is set up, there is so much repetition, that often I've found that even if a concept is misunderstood for several lessons, the correction work will reteach the concept and often the misunderstanding is resolved long before the next test.  I use the tests as our marker of mastery, not the lessons.  We will back up 8 or 10 lessons if a test is taken and a score is less than 80%.  My kids know that this will happen every time with low scores . . not a punishment . . a reteaching and correction.  

 

Regarding skipping problems - I had decided earlier in the year that we were going to skip problems in order to make the math day easier to deal with so I picked up the next lesson in Saxon 8/7 with pencil in hand to cross off those repetitive problems and I couldn't do it.  There were nuances in each problem that made it easy to see that skipping them would negate some of the learning for the day.  So we adjusted to not necessarily completing a whole lesson every day.

 

 

 

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We have finally decided that some lessons (for some kids, most lessons) of Saxon math are just going to take us more than one day to complete. So, they have instructions on their assignment sheet that say . . "work on math for at least one hour". Sometimes that ends up being less, sometimes a bit more but if they don't finish the lesson in a day, we just pick up where they left off the next day.

 

I don't make them repeat a whole lesson if they miss more than a certain number. Some of my kids work on their own to correct their mistakes, one in particular goes through the mistakes with me and then we go to the next lesson. Because of the way that Saxon is set up, there is so much repetition, that often I've found that even if a concept is misunderstood for several lessons, the correction work will reteach the concept and often the misunderstanding is resolved long before the next test. I use the tests as our marker of mastery, not the lessons. We will back up 8 or 10 lessons if a test is taken and a score is less than 80%. My kids know that this will happen every time with low scores . . not a punishment . . a reteaching and correction.

 

Regarding skipping problems - I had decided earlier in the year that we were going to skip problems in order to make the math day easier to deal with so I picked up the next lesson in Saxon 8/7 with pencil in hand to cross off those repetitive problems and I couldn't do it. There were nuances in each problem that made it easy to see that skipping them would negate some of the learning for the day. So we adjusted to not necessarily completing a whole lesson every day.

That was wise of you - half lessons are a much better idea than skipped problems unless the child is working way under their skill level to check for any knowledge gaps. And the books aren't so long it throws off progress to spread stuff out as needed.

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I've skimmed some of the other responses, so you've seen this already, but honestly just have them do even or odd. It's less overwhelming. They will get enough review of the material as you go through year after year of Saxon that they really will not miss anything. 

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If you aren't going to teach (which isn't just sitting there- it's presenting a concept and exploring it with them), do them a favor and get them a program that includes some sort of instruction, either on the computer or a video thing or something. Or sign them up for online classes. Expecting a 10 and 11 year old to basically just muddle through without a teacher isn't especially fair. It's setting them up for failure later on. I know several adult homeschool graduates who were expected to self teach math and hated it and never really went all that far with math.

 

Math takes time and an hour a day doesn't seem unreasonable. If you taught a lesson and then they did homework it might take less time for them to tackle the assignment. I can see stopping for the day at 1 hour. Less than 1/2 hour without instruction as they are closing in on middle school math? I think that's a pipe dream you should give up. That some kids can do a whole Saxon lesson in 25 minutes doesn't mean your kids can.

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If you aren't going to teach (which isn't just sitting there- it's presenting a concept and exploring it with them), do them a favor and get them a program that includes some sort of instruction, either on the computer or a video thing or something. Or sign them up for online classes. Expecting a 10 and 11 year old to basically just muddle through without a teacher isn't especially fair. It's setting them up for failure later on. I know several adult homeschool graduates who were expected to self teach math and hated it and never really went all that far with math.

 

Math takes time and an hour a day doesn't seem unreasonable. If you taught a lesson and then they did homework it might take less time for them to tackle the assignment. I can see stopping for the day at 1 hour. Less than 1/2 hour without instruction as they are closing in on middle school math? I think that's a pipe dream you should give up. That some kids can do a whole Saxon lesson in 25 minutes doesn't mean your kids can.

 

I totally agree and at that level it really doesn't take that much time for you to read the instruction or present the concept.  That was all open and go for me at that point.  Wish everything I'm doing now was!

 

 

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My children are using Saxon. They are doing fine, but math takes so much time (over an hour or so a day). And then, if they miss more than five problems, they must redo the lesson the following day. This happens often. They read and do the lesson independently, then if they miss anything, we go over it together if needed. It is functional, but there is no enjoyment there, and it really does take way too much time.

 

Is there a math program for average kids, that takes less time per day? It's also important to me that the series go into high school because they are in 5th and 6th and I don't want to have to look for a new program in a few years!

 

Redo the lesson, or redo the missed problems? There is no reason to redo the lesson if they made a careless mistake here and there. If they redo problems, ideally it would be the same day, not the next day. When we used Saxon, I was indeed one of those renegades who didn't make them solve every problem, and we had no long term issues.

 

My deal with them was that if they made 94% or above, they didn't have to redo the missed problems, we just looked over the correct answer together to find the error. That let to many fewer errors! I assume the problems are still marked with the lesson they come from? If so, you can also make sure to assign problems in future of the type they missed. 

 

Saxon is a solid program, but we were good and tired of it by high school. We wound up with Holt, which we like but I am not familiar with the lower grades. 

 

I honestly would not be bound and determined to use the same program for five different kids, now and through high school. It's great if it works out, but it just doesn't always work out that way. 

 

 

Yes, if your kids must do math without a teacher, I would switch to Christian light education or Teaching Textbooks, since those are both designed to be used independently.

 

 

Saxon is also designed to be used independently, from 5/4 onward. 

 

If you aren't going to teach (which isn't just sitting there- it's presenting a concept and exploring it with them), do them a favor and get them a program that includes some sort of instruction, either on the computer or a video thing or something. Or sign them up for online classes. Expecting a 10 and 11 year old to basically just muddle through without a teacher isn't especially fair. It's setting them up for failure later on.  

 

 

It depends on the kid. Struggling with a lesson/concept can be very beneficial. Of course, there does need to be some checking in and discussion at times, but that doesn't always have to translate into teaching them a daily lesson. Every student is different - some will be lost without explicit instruction, and some will benefit greatly from muddling through a lot on their own. There are many effective ways of learning. 

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If your kids are missing so many problems and taking so long, they may be in a level they aren't ready for.  My dd takes 30 minutes or less for math and we have always used Saxon - she is currently in 7/6 and finished the entire lesson (Saxon Teacher explaining the lesson and the problems) in 23 minutes.   

 

Just so you don't make half the board insecure, I'm going to point out that 23 minutes for an entire Saxon lesson is very fast  :laugh:

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Redo the lesson, or redo the missed problems? There is no reason to redo the lesson if they made a careless mistake here and there. If they redo problems, ideally it would be the same day, not the next day. When we used Saxon, I was indeed one of those renegades who didn't make them solve every problem, and we had no long term issues.

 

My deal with them was that if they made 94% or above, they didn't have to redo the missed problems, we just looked over the correct answer together to find the error. That let to many fewer errors! I assume the problems are still marked with the lesson they come from? If so, you can also make sure to assign problems in future of the type they missed.

 

Saxon is a solid program, but we were good and tired of it by high school. We wound up with Holt, which we like but I am not familiar with the lower grades.

 

I honestly would not be bound and determined to use the same program for five different kids, now and through high school. It's great if it works out, but it just doesn't always work out that way.

 

 

 

Saxon is also designed to be used independently, from 5/4 onward.

 

 

It depends on the kid. Struggling with a lesson/concept can be very beneficial. Of course, there does need to be some checking in and discussion at times, but that doesn't always have to translate into teaching them a daily lesson. Every student is different - some will be lost without explicit instruction, and some will benefit greatly from muddling through a lot on their own. There are many effective ways of learning.

Struggling with math is important and can be very beneficial. It is also not incompatible with direct instruction. My son puzzles out some problems over days. I don't give him the answers but I do teach him enough that he has the tools to eventually figure it out. And I present lessons and problems for us to play with together.

 

I know more people who weren't well served by hands off/instructor free math educations than those who did alright or flourished that way.

 

Homeschooling is not handing over workbooks or curriculum and thinking the parent's job is done. A lot of the topics in late elementary and early middle school math become huge math stumbling blocks later on if not learned fully. Perhaps my bias as a former math tutor is on display here but I saw this over and over- couldn't do their college math because of a weakness in a very primary concept like factoring and very simple geometry concepts.

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If your kids are going to be self-instructing, then it might be wise to have them check their answer after each problem.  That way, they can immediately see if they have got the right answer, and if not they can look back at their work and see if they can figure out where they went wrong.  As they go along, they can either work through the problem set putting a big "Q" next to problems they can't figure out, or, if they find they are having quite a bit of trouble, they can ask you to take a look and give them some guidance.  In this way they are self-teaching most of the time, but if they do have a problem with understanding the concept being taught, they will discover it fairly early in the problem set, and you can step in and help without having to repeat the lesson the next day.  

 

This method of handling problem sets works very well with my tutoring students (though I do teach each lesson).  It maximizes their empowerment to be responsible for their own learning, while minimizing frustration when they are struggling.

And yes, I would expect math to take an hour a day most days.  And I would not stick with Saxon just because it goes to high school; I pick the text that is the best fit each year.  For some kids (and some teachers) Saxon sucks the joy out of mathematics.  Whatever path you take, make sure your kids are experiencing the joy.  It's an important part of a good math education.  

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We started with Saxon but have been happy moving to Teaching Textbooks as Saxon was taking way too long and didn't feel like an appropriate choice for a kid with ADHD. I feel like the concepts are explained well in TT, and I'm going through the Algebra program myself right now because I think it's fun.

 

 

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If your kids are going to be self-instructing, then it might be wise to have them check their answer after each problem. That way, they can immediately see if they have got the right answer, and if not they can look back at their work and see if they can figure out where they went wrong. As they go along, they can either work through the problem set putting a big "Q" next to problems they can't figure out, or, if they find they are having quite a bit of trouble, they can ask you to take a look and give them some guidance. In this way they are self-teaching most of the time, but if they do have a problem with understanding the concept being taught, they will discover it fairly early in the problem set, and you can step in and help without having to repeat the lesson the next day.

 

This method of handling problem sets works very well with my tutoring students (though I do teach each lesson). It maximizes their empowerment to be responsible for their own learning, while minimizing frustration when they are struggling.

 

And yes, I would expect math to take an hour a day most days. And I would not stick with Saxon just because it goes to high school; I pick the text that is the best fit each year. For some kids (and some teachers) Saxon sucks the joy out of mathematics. Whatever path you take, make sure your kids are experiencing the joy. It's an important part of a good math education.

Agree completely.

 

We don't do it with Saxon because the concepts are usually extremely straightforward and misunderstandings are easy to clear, but you bet I have my oldest do it with Beast Academy. The problems are long as we have had entire pages wrong because of misunderstanding a direction or concept. Where that is likely and a student is mostly self directed, checking every two or three problems to make sure you're on the right track is an EXTREMELY powerful tool!

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Just so you don't make half the board insecure, I'm going to point out that 23 minutes for an entire Saxon lesson is very fast  :laugh:

 

LOL!  I sort of started to realize that after reading some responses.  When I used to teach math to her, it took a bit longer but the Saxon teacher is excellent for her.  She does problems while she is learning the lesson.  I'm not sure if she is just good at math or it was all the early drilling we did that might have been overkill but I've seen how it has helped her now.

 

If it helps anyone - she takes about an hour for Grammar!  :laugh:

 

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